Being able to identify what an anxiety attack feels like and knowing how to react can make a big difference in how you experience the episode.
Health and life at home

What does an anxiety attack feel like?

Being able to identify what an anxiety attack feels like and knowing how to react can make a big difference in how you experience the episode.
Zen to Go

Being able to identify what an anxiety attack feels like and knowing how to react can make a big difference in how you experience the episode.

A few weeks ago I received a message from my husband: Please call me.

When you've been with a person for more than 15 years, even in a short message like that, you can tell when something is wrong. In our case, when he wants to talk to me, he calls me; just like that.

I called him immediately and he answered agitated, telling me that he did not know what was happening to him. He was in his office talking to a client and he began to feel upset, irritable, he was sweating, he felt he had no patience to talk to that person and he had a feeling in his chest that he had never felt before, that he could only describe as anguish, and that he was having trouble breathing.

Listening to him, I deduced that it was an anxiety attack, so I wanted to convey calmness by telling him precisely that: "You are having an anxiety attack, you just have to breathe with me following the count I am going to do: inhale on 4: 1, 2, 3, 4... hold 4: 1, 2, 3, 4... exhale on 4: 1, 2, 3, 4"; and we repeated a couple of times more.

Surprised, he told me that he thought it was amazing that a simple exercise like that was helping him feel better. He said he should hang up, but that he would continue doing the breathing exercise for the rest of the afternoon.

When she returned home, she told me that she called her doctor to explain and he told her that it was indeed an anxiety attack and that she just needed to calm down. But of course, that's easy to say! As the meme goes, saying calm down has calmed 0 people in this world. And he thanked me for helping him with the breathing exercise which, along with standing in front of the air conditioner, is the only thing that made him feel better.

We do not know what triggered the anxiety attack; most likely it was a high level of stress.

After what happened, I was left wondering how, even though I personally have never had an anxiety attack, just by knowing the symptoms and the importance of breathing to alleviate the symptoms, I was able to help him.

So we asked them on Instagram Stories to see how much they know about anxiety attacks, and we were extremely struck by the fact that 63% of the participants believe they have had an episode, but only 61% know the symptoms; so... how real was the percentage of people who have suffered from it, if 59% don't even know what an anxiety attack feels like?

And here we are, doing our bit with this publication, so that more people know what the symptoms of an anxiety attack are. Because you do not know when you can give you an anxiety attack or someone around you; and recognize what you're feeling, put a name and know how to act, can make a difference.

What is an anxiety attack?

Most people feel anxiety in certain situations; it is a normal reaction to the presence of a stressor. However, as soon as this stressor disappears, the feeling of anxiety usually disappears as well.

An anxiety attack is a temporary state of extreme anxiety, in which you suddenly feel short of breath, palpitations, chest tightness, dizziness, fear of losing control or even fear of dying.

What are the symptoms of an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attacks can start from a state of calm or from a state of anxiety, and can manifest themselves in different ways, but in general, the episodes appear suddenly and reach their maximum intensity in a few minutes.

The symptoms can be so intense that many people believe they are having a heart attack.

These are the most common symptoms of an anxiety attack:

- Feeling of nervousness or tension

- Shortness of breath, choking sensation or hyperventilation

- Chest pressure

- Feeling of agitation, palpitations or rapid pulse rate

- Sweating

- Tremors

- Headache

- Nausea

- Sensation of imminent danger

- Feeling of weakness or tiredness

- Uncontrollable crying

- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the episode they are experiencing

- Problems falling asleep

What to do during an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attacks can be scary, but there are some things you can do to cope better.

Psycho-education can make a big difference in the person who is experiencing an anxiety attack. This consists of the person having enough information to be able to identify what he or she is feeling, to be able to name it and, most importantly, to know how to act. And that is precisely what you are doing by reading this publication.

During an anxiety attack:

- Concentrate on your breathing. At a time like this you will not be able to remember what was the ideal duration of the exercise, so choose a number and inhale, hold and exhale in that amount of seconds. That is, if you choose for example 4, inhale in 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and exhale in 4 seconds. As a matter of common sense, do not choose a very short duration, as it is all about controlling your breathing and lowering your heart rate. In addition, concentrating on this activity will also help you calm down.

- Put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Some people find it helps to feel the movement of their own breath as they take deep breaths.

- Concentrate on your senses. Eat something sweet and concentrate on the taste, or touch something soft.

And something that you don't find in medical publications but that my husband found very useful and worth sharing, was to stand in front of a fresh air outlet (fan, air conditioner, a window).

How long does an anxiety attack last?

An anxiety attack can last from 10 to 50 minutes from the moment you feel the maximum intensity. It is possible that after the episode you return to your previous state (either calm or anxious), however, in other cases it is possible to maintain a moderate level of anxiety for several hours or even repeat the crisis later.

When to consult your physician?

If you identify with any of these points, you should see your doctor:

- If the fear of having anxiety attacks prevents you from leading a normal life.

- If you feel that your worry is interfering with your life.

- If you feel depressed.

- If you have at least two anxiety attacks and they appear spontaneously, without a previous situation that justifies that level of anxiety.

- If you have problems with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health problems along with anxiety.

- If you have additional symptoms that make you suspect it is not an anxiety attack.

- If the anxiety attack began soon after starting a new medical treatment.

- If you have suicidal thoughts or behaviors, go to the emergency room.

How can massage therapy help you with anxiety attacks?

It is not possible to know with certainty what causes anxiety attacks, however, there are some steps you can take to keep your anxiety levels under control.

According to some studies*, massage therapy decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) levels by up to 33% and increases serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters that help stabilize mood) by 28% to 31%.

In addition, doing activities that promote your well-being will always have a positive effect on your mood.


How to book an appointment from in-home massage to manage anxiety?

Booking at Zen to Go is very easy and simple, either through the website or by downloading the App (available for iOS and Android).

  1. After creating your account with your contact information and address, the system will confirm our coverage in your area.
  2. Customize your session by choosing the technique, duration and gender of the therapist's preference. We recommend that you add in the notes that your goal is to calm anxiety.
  3. Choose the date and time of your preference, being able to see the real availability of the therapists.
  4. Securely provide bank card details to guarantee the reservation, through the prestigious payment processor Stripe.
  5. And enjoy the luxury home SPA experience offered by Zen to Go. The therapists comes with everything you need: massage table, fresh clean sheets, quality essential oils and relaxing music.

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Excellent relaxing massage with Christian :)

Valeria B.
Feb 14, 2023

Habby was fantastic. She was amazing.

Aida N.
Oct 23, 2022

Always perfect with Luz! She pays attention to my needs and provides a complete service.

Courtney U.
Sep 22, 2022

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